“To act for a better world”: Using social justice graphic novels to empower youth

Kasey L. Garrison, Karen Gavigan

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Graphic novels are becoming more widely accepted by librarians and teachers as a mainstream literary format for students. They are also effective tools for engaging youth with challenging social issues, as the quote in the title suggests. This chapter provides an overview of ways university instructors can teach pre-service educators to use social justice graphic novels in their high school classrooms and libraries. The content in this chapter is based on findings from research conducted by the authors about social justice issues in young adult graphic novels. The chapter includes an annotated list of selective graphic novel titles based on five social justice issues (racism, immigration and displacement, LGBTQIA+ and gender, mental health, and the environment and climate change). It also provides examples of standardsbased best practices for using the graphic novels with pre-service teachers and librarians, award lists, and other educational resources.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of research on teaching diverse youth literature to pre-service professionals
EditorsDanielle E. Hartsfield
Place of PublicationHershey, PA
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781799873778
ISBN (Print)9781799873754, 9781799873761
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameAdvances in Early Childhood and K-12 Education (AECKE)
PublisherIGI Global
ISSN (Print)2329-5929
ISSN (Electronic)2329-5937


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